One more time: Snow, sleet, misery fall on East Coast
By Ralph Ellis
(CNN) — Will somebody please push the reset button on the winter of 2014?
Washington, Baltimore and Philadelphia were pounded Monday by yet another winter storm, one that also put the Midwest and Great Plains into the freezer.
The federal government closed offices Monday in Washington, which expects rain, ice and 8 to 12 inches of snow. Congress postponed Monday business until Tuesday.
Public school systems from Dallas to Philadelphia canceled Monday classes. Delaware, Tennessee and other states declared states of emergency. Amtrak cut service around Wilmington, Delaware, CNN affiliate WJLA reported.
There have been two weather-related auto fatalities. In Arkansas, a man was killed when he lost control of his SUV on Sunday in snowy weather and struck a retaining wall, the Arkansas State Police reported. In Oklahoma, a pedestrian was killed Saturday during freezing rain, the state’s highway patrol reported.
This is the third major storm of the winter, and people are fed up.
“I can’t believe it’s March and it’s still snowing,” Betsy St. John, from Brunswick, Maryland, told CNN affiliate WHAG. “I’m ready for spring.”
Air traffic is also affected. Flightaware.com is reporting about 2,000 flight cancellations for Monday, with the heaviest impacts to Washington’s Reagan National, Philadelphia International, Baltimore-Washington International, and New York’s LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy International.
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency there because of the storm — a move that will help state agencies position resources where they’re needed, McAuliffe said. The capital, Richmond, is expected to get 4 to 8 inches of snow and sleet, according to the National Weather Service.
McAuliffe said people in Virginia should postpone travel.
This storm is a national event that started out dumping rain on California, causing dangerous mudslides. It then moved east and delivered dangerous weather to places unfazed by typical winters.
Extremely low temperatures hit the Northern Plains, Upper Midwest and Great Lakes again. Highs from the single digits to the low 20s are expected from Montana eastward to New England, and subzero lows are likely for the Dakotas and the Upper Midwest.
Snow fell Sunday on Indianapolis, Louisville and St. Louis, where the weather caused numerous wrecks. Interstate 95 in northern Kentucky was shut down for a period Sunday.
In Little Rock, Arkansas, thousands of people woke up without electricity.
“We’ve got about 2,600 workers on the ground ready to go just as soon as the trouble begins,” David Lewis, a spokesman with Entergy Arkansas, told CNN affiliate KATV. “With the forecasts being as firm as they’ve been, we have every reason to believe this will be a significant and serious winter storm.”
Power outages were reported in Arkansas (14,000); Memphis (20,000) and Nashville (9,500) in Tennessee; Missouri (360); Mississippi (1,500); and Louisville, Kentucky (309).
The South will be cool but won’t see much snow. There will be a slight risk of severe thunderstorms bearing damaging winds, a few isolated tornadoes and possibly large hail. People in Atlanta will feel temperatures in the 50s — a big drop from Sunday’s high of around 70.
The string of winter storms left many jurisdictions around the country low on road clearing supplies.
In New Albany, Indiana, where salt is now in short supply, the city has shifted to a product called IMIX, which combines natural sand and calcium chloride, CNN affiliate WAVE reported.
In Virginia, the state Department of Transportation has already exceeded its $10 million snow removal budget by $3.4 million, CNN affiliate WRIC reported Sunday. Rhode Island got a new shipment of salt right before the storm, reported WPRI, a CNN affiliate.
Folks like Mariedith Poquiz of Frederick, Maryland, can’t wait for the weather to warm up.
“I’m ready to break out my spring clothes,” she told WHAG. “I’m tired of the winter.”
CNN’s Joe Sutton contributed to this report.
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